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Smoking Mugwort


Michele

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I have not used mugwort in any shamanic practices and to by knowledge it is not used by any shamans in the America's traditionally. Northern Mexican shamans seasonally use salvia divinorum which they grow around a sacred tree, when out of season they use shrooms. In Brazil they use Yaje (yah Jay), also called ayahuasca, "the vine of the dead". This is said, if used properly with a shaman, to be able to cure depression, anxiety, and a number of neurological health issues. I have not smoked salvia for years, and when I did it was legal, I am not sure if it is a scheduled substance now or not. The experience was intense. I felt as though I were going backward and forward at the same time and I felt a sense of the vibration of things. I noticed the small inflections in the chatter of birds, realizing their language is more than just simple chirps. I experienced this with a Mexican brujo (witch, of the shamanic tradition, not of the newer Santa Muerte cult). I highly advise that these shamanic experiences be guided by an experienced shaman.

 

In all shamanic traditions, including African, Central/South American, Siberian, etc... there is always a period of fasting and certain taboos are observed. There are also purification rituals performed before ingesting or inhaling any sacred journey plants or fungi. I have been taught, and do believe, that these are gifts from the animistic spirits of earth and that the plant, as well as the spirit should be respected. Recreational use is a taboo in most, if not all shamanic traditions. Also, it is common to offer a gift or libation for the sacred plant/fungi. The primary reason for the fasting and taboo observation is that all these sacred journey plants are poisons to us, this is why it effects the mind as it does...basically the nervous system is overwhelmed. Fasting and such can reduce the toxic effect in the body which can cause unwanted side effects, such as digestive upset, heart failure, or long term effects. Author Martin Pretchal mentions in his book, "Secrets of the Talking Jaguar", that in the Maya shamanism he apprenticed in for 10 years, that sacred journey plants are introduced to the apprentice in small amounts and then gradually over time the apprentice digests larger and larger doses, until at the time of initiation as a shaman a large overdose is given. This causes the sense of being torn apart, killed, and reborn. He mentions however, that some die during this initiation ritual. Traditional witchcraft is about experiencing and sometimes experiment, but in my journey I have found it useful to study under those more experienced in some areas, and then add that knowledge and skill to my practices. To learn from someone on another path, does not mean that we have to stop being traditional withches and join their path, it is only that we have placed another fruit in our hearts.

 

In shamanic traditions there are other practices for inducing trance. Often I hear people say that this is what these plants are for, this is not correct. These are for healing, purification, journey in the mind while opening the gate to the spirit world. It is not that the shaman is going to the spirit's house, but rather the inverse, the shaman is inviting a healing or teaching spirit. Trance work is done with different methods, such as the sweat lodge, chanting, drumming, gazing at a candle flame for long periods of time, etc... Western doctors have found that eating spicy foods, such as jalapenos, induces a temporary trance state. In some African tribes the iron smelters will chew white kola nut and hot peppers to induce trance while "giving birth" to the iron.

 

Although I have not been initiated into a certain path of witchcraft or African diasporic tradition I am an initiated shaman. I do not discuss the specifics of this as it is only handed down from shaman to apprentice. My apprenticeship lasted for several years. My initiation was specific to my path. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but well worth it. Although I don't discuss my initiation, I am happy to try to answer the questions of others in the best way I am able.Hopefully this was helpful in your quest.

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I have never smoked mugwort but do use it as one of the herbs in a oil infusion for trance and dream work. Michele, I like the incense idea.. I have done the same with Jimson..

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I have never smoked mugwort but do use it as one of the herbs in a oil infusion for trance and dream work. Michele, I like the incense idea.. I have done the same with Jimson..

 

I actually use damiana for my dead, which is weird, lol. I can't really say why I do it because none of the books I've seen say they like it but for some reason I like it...

 

M

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I actually use damiana for my dead, which is weird, lol. I can't really say why I do it because none of the books I've seen say they like it but for some reason I like it...

 

M

 

Damiana.? .interesting.. an aphrodisiac for the working with the dead...

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I have not used mugwort in any shamanic practices and to by knowledge it is not used by any shamans in the America's traditionally. Northern Mexican shamans seasonally use salvia divinorum which they grow around a sacred tree, when out of season they use shrooms. In Brazil they use Yaje (yah Jay), also called ayahuasca, "the vine of the dead". This is said, if used properly with a shaman, to be able to cure depression, anxiety, and a number of neurological health issues. I have not smoked salvia for years, and when I did it was legal, I am not sure if it is a scheduled substance now or not. The experience was intense. I felt as though I were going backward and forward at the same time and I felt a sense of the vibration of things. I noticed the small inflections in the chatter of birds, realizing their language is more than just simple chirps. I experienced this with a Mexican brujo (witch, of the shamanic tradition, not of the newer Santa Muerte cult). I highly advise that these shamanic experiences be guided by an experienced shaman.

 

In all shamanic traditions, including African, Central/South American, Siberian, etc... there is always a period of fasting and certain taboos are observed. There are also purification rituals performed before ingesting or inhaling any sacred journey plants or fungi. I have been taught, and do believe, that these are gifts from the animistic spirits of earth and that the plant, as well as the spirit should be respected. Recreational use is a taboo in most, if not all shamanic traditions. Also, it is common to offer a gift or libation for the sacred plant/fungi. The primary reason for the fasting and taboo observation is that all these sacred journey plants are poisons to us, this is why it effects the mind as it does...basically the nervous system is overwhelmed. Fasting and such can reduce the toxic effect in the body which can cause unwanted side effects, such as digestive upset, heart failure, or long term effects. Author Martin Pretchal mentions in his book, "Secrets of the Talking Jaguar", that in the Maya shamanism he apprenticed in for 10 years, that sacred journey plants are introduced to the apprentice in small amounts and then gradually over time the apprentice digests larger and larger doses, until at the time of initiation as a shaman a large overdose is given. This causes the sense of being torn apart, killed, and reborn. He mentions however, that some die during this initiation ritual. Traditional witchcraft is about experiencing and sometimes experiment, but in my journey I have found it useful to study under those more experienced in some areas, and then add that knowledge and skill to my practices. To learn from someone on another path, does not mean that we have to stop being traditional withches and join their path, it is only that we have placed another fruit in our hearts.

 

In shamanic traditions there are other practices for inducing trance. Often I hear people say that this is what these plants are for, this is not correct. These are for healing, purification, journey in the mind while opening the gate to the spirit world. It is not that the shaman is going to the spirit's house, but rather the inverse, the shaman is inviting a healing or teaching spirit. Trance work is done with different methods, such as the sweat lodge, chanting, drumming, gazing at a candle flame for long periods of time, etc... Western doctors have found that eating spicy foods, such as jalapenos, induces a temporary trance state. In some African tribes the iron smelters will chew white kola nut and hot peppers to induce trance while "giving birth" to the iron.

 

Although I have not been initiated into a certain path of witchcraft or African diasporic tradition I am an initiated shaman. I do not discuss the specifics of this as it is only handed down from shaman to apprentice. My apprenticeship lasted for several years. My initiation was specific to my path. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but well worth it. Although I don't discuss my initiation, I am happy to try to answer the questions of others in the best way I am able.Hopefully this was helpful in your quest.

 

 

There are tons of good points in here. I agree that it should be taboo to recreationally use mind altering substances and if used for ritual use, it should be under supervision of someone more experienced. These substances, if not used properly can be very damaging to the psyche, even to a witch or shaman, not to mention the risk of potential overdose. As much as altered states of mind are important in the craft, control and focus are also important. It is easier to build up control and focus with other forms of trace as you can more easily escape the state if things become too intense. This is the reason I tend to use fire gazing for trance. It allows for a quick out if I need it. Thanks for making me think. I find that your posts make me ponder things on a deeper level.

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